President-elect Joe Biden appeared to blame the “defund the police” movement for contributing to surprising Democratic down-ballot losses last month, telling civil rights leaders this week that they should proceed carefully on criminal justice issues.
“That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable,” Biden said Tuesday in a virtual meeting with civil rights leaders, according to audio excerpts posted Thursday in a podcast from The Intercept.
Biden pledged that he would follow through on his promises to address systemic racism, but he warned about getting “too far ahead of ourselves” with critical Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5.
“We can go very far. It matters how we do it. I think it matters how we do it,” Biden said.
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